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Notes of a Native Son
by James Baldwin

Paperback - 175 pages Reissue edition (August 1990)
Beacon Pr; ISBN: 0807064319

Since its original publication in 1955, this first nonfiction collection of essays by James Baldwin remains an American classic. Langston Hughes hailed Baldwin as a "straight-from-the-shoulder writer, writing about the troubled problems of this troubled earth with an illuminating intensity....Few American writers handle words more effectively in the essay form than James Baldwin." Baldwin's impassioned essays on life in Harlem, the protest novel, movies, and African-Americans abroad are as powerful today as when they were first written.
articles and reviews
February 26, 1958
Notes of a Native Son

I think that one definition of the great artist might be the creator who projects the biggest dream in terms of the least person. There is something in Cervantes or Shakespeare, Beethoven or Rembrandt or Louis Armstrong that millions can understand. The American native son who signs his name James Baldwin is quite a ways off from fitting such a definition of a great artist in writing, but he is not as far off as many another writer who deals in picture captions of journalese in the hope of capturing and retaining a wide public. James Baldwin writes down to nobody, and he is trying very hard to write up to himself. As an essayist he is thought-provoking, tantalizing, irritating, abusing and amusing. And he uses words as the sea uses waves, to flow and beat, advance and retreat, rise and take a bow in disappearing. [read more]


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